Your care plan may say how long you are likely to be in care or what needs to happen before you can go back home. It will also include things like:
- where you're going to live
- the school you'll go to
- what contact you'll have with your family and friends
- the sports and activities you'll take part in (like music, dance and art)
- other things you might need, like medical or dental treatment,
- counselling or help at school.
Below are some answers to questions that you may have about your care plan.
What is a care plan meeting?
A care plan meeting is when people get together with your case worker from the Department to discuss your care plan. They will talk about how you are going and make plans and important decisions about your life and future. Care plan meetings are a chance for you to sit down with people who care about you. They want to hear about what is happening in your life and what you want to happen in the future.
Who decides what is in your care plan?
When you come into care, your case worker writes a care plan to make sure everyone involved in looking after you knows what your needs are and how these needs are going to be met. Your case worker talks to everyone involved in your life to see what they think should be in your care plan. This can include people like your family, your carer and case worker and of course YOU! It’s important that you have your say about what you want to happen in your life.
What is a cultural plan?
There are people from lots of different cultures in Australia. The Department will help you stay in touch with your culture. This can be built into your care plan and is called your cultural plan. If you are an Aboriginal person, then you will be able to have a yarn with a special Aboriginal worker about what is best for you and how to keep in touch with your family, culture and community.
How can you have your say?
Lots of different adults take part in care plan meetings, like your parents or other members of your family, your case worker and Team Leader, your carer, your psychologist, or anyone else who is involved in your life. There may be one big meeting or lots of small ones but it is all about YOU and it’s good for you to take part in at least some of the meeting if you can.
To prepare for your care plan meeting you will be invited to use an iPad, a computer or your own phone to do a Viewpoint self-interviewing questionnaire. This helps you to say what you want in your Care Plan, what your goals are, what you’re worried about and anything else you want to talk about. Questionnaires are easy to do and will read out loud if you want. They can include avatars and game breaks or you can choose a plainer version if you like. Once you’ve done your questionnaire your Case Manager will talk to you in private about the things you’ve said and work out with you how your views and wishes can be included in the care plan meeting.
You don’t have to go to the meeting in person if you don’t want to, but it’s really good if you can. You can talk about your views and wishes, or you can present them as a list or on screen or in any other way you like. Or you can ask your case worker to speak for you. If you don’t want all your views and wishes to be shared with everyone you can tell your case worker and they can be kept confidential.
You can pick where your part of the meeting is held. For example, if you don’t want to go to the district office, you can choose somewhere you feel safe and comfortable, like where you live or a park. You can also say if there is anyone you don’t want to be at your part of the meeting. You can choose to bring an adult friend to the meeting for support.
Who gets a copy of your care plan?
You will get a copy of your care plan and you can ask if you need help to understand it. In about twelve months’ time, the care plan will be looked at again (reviewed) to see how things are going and what changes are needed to better meet your needs.
What can you do if you don't agree with a care plan decision?
You can talk to your case worker or to the Advocate for Children in Care about what you disagree with. They will help you if you want to try to get the plan changed or if you want it to be looked at again by a group of people outside the Department called the Care Plan Review Panel. This Panel can ask the Department to make changes to the care plan.
What are health and education plans?
Your health care plan is put together between you, your case worker, a doctor or nurse and others. It is to make sure you are healthy and to help you with any health problems you may have.
Your education plan is put together between you, your case worker, carer, school, and others. It is to make sure that you are being helped to get the most of your education and learning at school.